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Sunday, April 21, 2024

BusyKid Visa® Prepaid Spend Debit Card Review

Eric Bank

By: Eric Bank

Eric Bank
Eric Bank

Eric Bank is an M.B.A. who has covered financial and business topics since 1985, appearing regularly on Credible, eHow, WiseBread, The Nest, Zacks, Chron, BadCredit.org and dozens of other outlets. Eric specializes in taking complex subject matters and explaining them in simple terms for consumer audiences, particularly in the world of personal finance. Eric holds a Master's in Business Administration from New York University and a Master's in Finance from DePaul University.

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Editor: Jon McDonald

Jon McDonald
Jon McDonald

Jon leverages 15-plus years of journalism expertise to inform financial consumers about emerging trends and companies making an impact in the industry. He is most knowledgeable in the areas of budgeting, credit card rewards, and responsible credit use. Jon has a passion for writing and editing, and his articles have appeared in publications produced by The New York Times.

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Reviewer: Danielle Spurlin

Danielle Spurlin
Danielle Spurlin

With more than 10 years of accounting experience, Danielle Marshall has a deep understanding of many financial disciplines, including personal and commercial lending, retirement annuities, financial forecasting, and general bookkeeping. She has a bachelor's degree from the University of Florida's Fisher School of Accounting and currently manages all accounts receivable and payable for the parent company of CardRates.com. She works directly with credit card issuers and advertising partners to ensure our content meets compliance expectations and regulatory standards.

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BusyKid Visa® Prepaid Spend Debit Card Review

Rated 4.1 /5.0 ★★★★

Do you have kids who earn an allowance? If you do, you may want to teach them how to use their money responsibly by opening a prepaid debit card account that caters to families. Each child gets a card of their own that they can use to make purchases, save money, and receive an allowance — all under your direct supervision and control.

In this article, I review the BusyKid Visa® Prepaid Spend Debit Card and three similar products that help children become more comfortable handling their money. One of them may be the perfect tool to safely and securely start your kids on their financial journeys.

Main Points and Observations

      • The account costs $4 per month (billed annually) for up to five debit cards, but it does not have per-purchase fees, interest charges, or a required credit score.

      • Cardholders can use the card to earn allowances, receive bonuses, make purchases, access ATMs, support charities, maintain savings, and even invest in stocks.

      • The card does not offer cash-back rewards or overdraft protection.

      • Parents can authorize children from ages five through 17 to use the card.

    BusyKid is a standout bargain among family debit cards, with one low-cost plan that offers extensive functionality and value. Parents have several ways to monitor and control card use. As a tool to teach kids money management, BusyKid is tough to beat.

    How to Qualify & Apply For the Card

    You can easily apply for the BusyKid Visa® Prepaid Spend Debit Card online by clicking on the Apply Now button below. You’ll be redirected to the BusyKid website, where you can scan a QR code to download the BusyKid app.

    Disclosure: When you apply through links on our site, we often earn referral fees from partners. For more information, see our ad disclosure and review policy.

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    BusyKid Visa® Prepaid Spend Debit Card Review

    at the issuer'ssecure website

    BEST OVERALL RATING

    ★★★★

    4.1

    OVERALL RATING

    • Take your kid’s spending freedom to the next level with a BusyKid Visa® Prepaid Spend Debit Card. Now featuring ATM and Apple/Google Pay, the card eliminates concerns over having on-hand cash. It's easy to use, secure, and it teaches your kids how to manage money they can't see.
    • Every family subscription comes with up to five cards (one per child).
    • Cards are backed by the Visa® Zero liability policy and can be locked temporarily if misplaced.
    • Given it’s backed by the trusted name of Visa®, the BusyKid Spend Card is widely accepted in stores and online
    • BusyPay™ is an easy way for family or friends to instantly send money to a child’s BusyKid account
    • Choose from a variety of card designs to find which fits your busy kid best
    Intro (Purchases)
    Intro (Transfers)
    Regular APR
    Annual Fee
    Credit Needed
    N/A
    N/A
    N/A
    See Pricing
    None

    Parents perform all activities, including enrollment, using the mobile app. Open the app to enroll by providing your full name, date of birth, Social Security number, bank account details, email address, and phone number. You must reside in the US and be at least 18 years old. Once enrolled, you can add up to four children, one at a time, to the account by selecting an available card design and adding information about your child.

    The cards should arrive in about 14 business days. You activate the account on the app’s parent dashboard by entering the last four digits of the card number. The BusyKid Visa® Prepaid Spend Debit Card] is ready for use as soon as you load money onto it.

    Benefits & Drawbacks to Consider

    Understanding the good and bad about a family debit card can help your kids manage their money better. Learn what the card can do so you can monitor and control your child’s spending. You also should understand the account’s downsides and charges.

    Benefits

      • Parental control and oversight: You can set spending limits and monitor transactions to guide your children’s financial habits.

      • Easy tracking of finances: The app shows where your kids spend, save, and invest money.

      • Earning through chores: Children can earn money by completing assigned tasks.

      • Safe and secure: Comes with security features to protect against unauthorized use and fraud.

    Drawbacks

      • Fees: There is a $4 monthly fee billed annually, plus several incidental charges for various activities.

      • Spending limits: While useful for control, fixed spending limits may be inconvenient if a cardowner needs immediate access to more funds.

      • Limited features compared to regular bank accounts: BusyKid does not offer all the functionalities of a traditional bank account, such as higher transaction limits or interest earnings on savings.

      • Limited loading options: You cannot load money into the account at a retail location or via an ATM deposit.

      • No store-level spending controls: Unlike some of its competitors, BusyKid does not let you set store-specific spending limits.

      • Dependence on the app: Managing the account and monitoring spending requires the BusyKid app, which may be problematic if you encounter technical issues or if users need to be tech-savvy.

      • No physical bank services: As an online platform, you cannot access in-person customer support.

    The card is not an online banking account. To fund your BusyKid account, you must link to an eligible bank account or credit card. BusyKid does not accept PayPal, Chime, Venmo, or Cash App as a funding source.

    Other Cards Worth a Look

    The first two alternatives are fully functional family cards that offer features similar to those of the BusyKid Visa® Prepaid Spend Debit Card. The PayPal card, while available to minors, provides fewer features and almost no parental controls.

    Greenlight – Debit Card For Kids Review

    at the issuer'ssecure website

    BEST OVERALL RATING

    ★★★★
    4.2

    OVERALL RATING

    • Greenlight is a debit card for kids, managed by parents
    • Parents set flexible controls and receive real-time alerts while kids monitor their balances, set goals, and learn how to manage money
    • Feel secure knowing Greenlight blocks unsafe spending categories
    • Receive Mastercard’s Zero Liability Protection
    • Upload a photo of your choice to create a unique custom card
    • Debit cards are FDIC-insured up to $250,000
    • Easily turn your Greenlight card on or off and receive real-time spending notifications
    Intro (Purchases)
    Intro (Transfers)
    Regular APR
    Annual Fee
    Credit Needed
    N/A
    N/A
    N/A
    See Pricing
    Not applicable

    The Greenlight – Debit Card For Kids is a money app that caters to families that want to instill children with a strong base of financial knowledge. Your children can access tools that teach about savings and allow them to start investing with as little as $1 — and it has no trading fees.

    The card costs about $5 to $10 a month per family, depending on the plan you choose. Kids of all ages qualify for this card. All ATM withdrawals are free, and you can quickly transfer money to your child’s account from your desktop or phone. The app is compatible with Apple Pay and Google Pay.

    PayPal Prepaid Mastercard® Review

    at The Bancorp Bank'ssecure website

    BEST OVERALL RATING

    ★★★★
    3.8

    OVERALL RATING

    • Move money from your PayPal account to fund your prepaid card account.
    • Earn cash back and personalized offers, just for using your card.
    • With Direct Deposit, you can get paid faster than a paper check.
    • Card issued by The Bancorp Bank, Member FDIC. Card may be used everywhere Debit Mastercard is accepted.
    • Click PayPal Prepaid Mastercard® for additional features & program details, and to request a Card.
    Intro (Purchases)
    Intro (Transfers)
    Regular APR
    Annual Fee
    Credit Needed
    N/A
    N/A
    N/A
    Variable Monthly Fee
    Not applicable

    You probably already know PayPal is one of the most popular platforms for making payments. The company also has a PayPal Prepaid Mastercard® that can link directly to your PayPal cash account. The card allows you to spend your money at any retailer or service provider that accepts Mastercard®.

    In addition to shopping convenience, you can also receive direct deposits, earn cash back from your spending, and add money to your PayPal card quickly. Teens 13 through 17 can become authorized users, but parental controls are minimal.

    FamZoo Prepaid Mastercard Review

    at the issuer'ssecure website

    BEST OVERALL RATING

    ★★★★
    3.7

    OVERALL RATING

    3.7/5.0
    • Great for families who wish to store money on multiple prepaid cards linked together
    • No risk of debt, overdraft, or hidden fees
    • Retain parental visibility and control while empowering kids of all ages
    • Separate funds into multiple purpose-driven accounts
    • Alert parents and children about card activity and the remaining balance in real time
    • A paid FamZoo subscription entitles you to use all of the active prepaid cards in your FamZoo family for as long as your subscription remains active. Adding family members and adding cards does not impact your subscription fee.
    Intro (Purchases)
    Intro (Transfers)
    Regular APR
    Annual Fee
    Credit Needed
    N/A
    N/A
    N/A
    See Pricing
    Not applicable

    The FamZoo Prepaid Mastercard aggregates multiple family accounts into one and gives each family member individual access. As the main account holder, you can set spending limits, monitor spending, and distribute funds as you see fit to each FamZoo card connected to your account.

    You must pay a single subscription fee to activate each FamZoo prepaid card in your family. FamZoo cards remain active for as long as you maintain your subscription.

    Cardholder Reviews on Trustpilot

    From a consumer perspective, Trustpilot reviews are valuable because they provide insights into customer experiences with a company and help you make informed decisions before purchasing products or using services.

    Trustpilot reviews are helpful in assessing a company’s trustworthiness and customer satisfaction before spending your money. Overall, Trustpilot reviews paint a generally favorable picture of the BusyKid Visa® Prepaid Spend Debit Card.

    Jeanne is a satisfied rural customer:

    “I cannot thank BusyKid enough for their perseverance. I am sorry to say I had never heard of BusyKid. Still, neither Greenlight nor GoHenry would go the extra mile to confirm this for me because we only have PO Boxes with USPS, not street addresses. BusyKid did not give up; after almost 50 emails back and forth, they stuck with me all the way and were willing to problem-solve. THANK YOU.”

    Rachel Blitz had a poor experience with the card:

    “Everything started out fine, and my child was able to use the card for what I needed them to. After the initial trip, the app became problematic. It was declined at local stores when inputting the correct PIN, and the available balance was good. Next time, I’ll get my child a bank card. They are responsible, and it costs less.”

    Cherokee Yonkin seems torn:

    “The kids really love that they have their own card. I wouldn’t say I like it when the card is declined; it charges you $.50 repetitively. My kiddo thought that she had money because it showed she had money, but you had to transfer it to her card. They thought the card wasn’t working, so they kept swiping… causing her to lose almost $4. Other than that, it has been a very good experience. I’m not sure if I’ll renew for $50 for the year again or not.”

    I do give BusyKid kudos for its customer service. And it appears to answer each complaint on Trustpilot with an explanation.

    FAQs: How Do Parents Manage the Card?

    Controlling and monitoring your child’s debit card allows you to teach financial responsibility and safe spending habits. It also helps prevent overspending and shows children the value of money — starting from a young age. The BusyKid Visa® Prepaid Spend Debit Card provides several parental controls and allows you to:

      • Establish spending limits: You can set specific spending limits on the BusyKid Visa® Prepaid Spend Debit Card, which teaches children about budgeting and prevents overspending. This feature allows you to control the maximum amount your child can spend in a given period.

      • Monitor and review transactions: The BusyKid app allows you to track where and how your children spend money. This real-time monitoring helps you control their activity.

      • Approve or decline purchases: You can receive notifications for attempted purchases and have the power to approve or decline them.

      • Manage card funding: You can load money onto the BusyKid Visa® Prepaid Spend Debit Card typically as a reward for completing chores or achieving specific goals. This functionality teaches children the value of earning money.

      • Educate kids about financial management: Using the features of the BusyKid Visa® Prepaid Spend Debit Card, you can teach important financial lessons, such as the importance of saving, the impact of spending, and how to budget effectively.

      • Customize account settings: You can adjust the settings of the BusyKid account to match your unique needs, such as changing the frequency and amount of allowances, setting savings goals, and customizing chore lists to earn money.

      • Guide investment choices: BusyKid allows you to oversee your children’s investment decisions, teaching them about the stock market and financial planning in a controlled environment.

      • Instantly lock and unlock: The BusyKid Visa® Prepaid Spend Debit Card can be immediately locked or unlocked via the app, enabling quick control over its use to prevent unauthorized transactions or secure stolen or misplaced cards.

    These BusyKid features allow you to effectively monitor your child’s finances. And it’s much safer than doling out cash.

    Does the Card Provide Rewards?

    The BusyKid Visa® Prepaid Spend Debit Carddoes not offer cash back or points, as its primary task is to teach kids about financial responsibility.

    However, it allows children to earn money by completing the chores or tasks you set. You may view that as a form of reward for their efforts.

    How Can My Children Use the Card?

    The card lets children spend, save, and invest, subject to parental supervision. By earning money by performing chores, kids learn the value of money and responsible ways to use it.

    Activity Description
    Receiving Allowances & Bonuses Children can receive regular allowances transferred to the card for completed chores or tasks, and parents can give bonus payments for extra work or achievements.
    Spending Children can make purchases at stores or online, allowing them to spend their earned money while learning to manage their own finances.
    Saving Kids can set aside a portion of their money for savings, teaching them the value of saving money for future needs or goals.
    Investing Children have the option to invest a part of their money through the platform under parental supervision.
    Philanthropy The card allows kids to donate to charities or causes they care about.

    The account enforces transaction and balance limits. For example, the daily limit on a single purchase transaction, the card balance, maximum load amount, and cash back on the checkout line is $2,000. Cardowners can make up to 20 purchases, five money loads, and five ATM withdrawals per day.

    How Reliable Is BusyKid?

    The BusyKid account and app appear to be safe and dependable. BusyKid’s website describes the company’s evolution:

    “In January of 2011, Gregg Murset, a father of six, was looking for a solution to the problem – how to keep track of his kids’ chores, pay them a weekly allowance, and teach them the basic financial principles surrounding earning, saving, sharing, and spending money wisely. Out of this necessity, he developed My Job Chart, one of the very first online chore and allowance apps in the US.

    Technology has evolved, and so My Job Chart had to grow into BusyKid with better security, technology, features, and economic solutions. BusyKid is the first chore and allowance platform where kids can earn, save, share, spend, and invest their allowance.”

    MVB Bank, which issues the debit card, has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau and is an FDIC member. The app uses encryption and bank-level security to protect your privacy, and the debit card carries all the safeguards that Visa® provides.

    BusyKid uses Stripe and Plaid to connect to your funding sources. These third-party providers have become the main players in the financial services industry and have earned a solid reputation for the highest levels of security and customer service.

    Earlier, I described the card’s many parental controls, including instant account locking. While no app is 100% immune to hackers, BusyKid takes its responsibility for safety and reliability seriously.

    The BBB gives BusyKid a B rating but does not accredit it. Trustpilot reviewer remarks concerning BusyKid are more than 70% positive, and the overall score is Great (i.e., four stars out of five).

    What Are the Card’s Fees?

    The BusyKid Visa® Prepaid Spend Debit Card primary fee is a monthly service charge of $4, billed annually. As the cardholder agreement shows, many of the card’s services are free.

    The BusyKid Visa® Prepaid Spend Debit Card is one of the least expensive family debit cards. It represents a real bargain since the same monthly fee covers up to five card users.

    This Card May Be For You If…

      • You want to teach your children financial responsibility: It is a practical tool to help your kids learn about earning, saving, spending, and investing money responsibly.

      • You prefer hands-on involvement in your child’s financial education: You can monitor, approve, and discuss your child’s spending decisions and actively guide their economic behavior.

      • You value the convenience of digital financial management: The card offers the ease and safety of managing your child’s use of money through the mobile app.

    The BusyKid Visa® Prepaid Spend Debit Card and app excel in providing a comprehensive platform for instructing children on financial responsibility, with robust features for earning, saving, spending, and investing. However, I’d like it to offer ATM withdrawals and store-level spending controls. Competing apps offer these features.

    Overall, the BusyKid Visa® Prepaid Spend Debit Card is a strong contender if you’re looking to educate your children on financial matters. But its limitations are worth considering when comparing it to competing products.

    About the Author

    Eric Bank
    Eric Bank Finance Expert

    Eric Bank is an M.B.A. who has covered financial and business topics since 1985, appearing regularly on Credible, eHow, WiseBread, The Nest, Zacks, Chron, BadCredit.org and dozens of other outlets. Eric specializes in taking complex subject matters and explaining them in simple terms for consumer audiences, particularly in the world of personal finance. Eric holds a Master's in Business Administration from New York University and a Master's in Finance from DePaul University.

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